SLU news

Vacancy at Mistra Biotech: Postdoctoral researcher in policies and regulations for plant breeding

Published: 13 May 2019

We are looking for a candidate who has a biotechnology/breeding background combined with a thorough legal and political understanding of the regulatory frameworks that apply to the products of plant breeding.

The successful candidate must have a PhD, and preferably in Plant breeding, Genetics, Agricultural Sciences or some other plant breeding-related field.

The postdoc will work closely together with other researchers in analyzing various aspects of biosafety legislation related to gene technologies in plant breeding, and writing corresponding articles for international, peer-reviewed publication. The postdoc is expected to take the main responsibility for at least two such articles. The following themes are currently among our top priorities for this work, but others may also be discussed:

Legal analysis of reform options

Several proposals to reform the EU GMO legislation have been put forward. A thorough analysis is still lacking of the consequences of different proposed legislative reform options for molecular breeding technologies. This project will analyse the potential consequences of various reform options, according to factors such as the Precautionary principle; the EU Innovation principle; compatibility with the Cartagena protocol; and the scientific consensus.

Consensus on plant gene technology

In the discussions about the regulatory approach to plant gene technology, it is often argued either that “scientific consensus” prevails or that it does not prevail. However, it is rarely specified exactly what constitutes “scientific consensus”. This project will seek to identify some key criteria for the concept of “consensus” in the field of plant gene technology, such as credibility of the sources of information, criteria for falsification (i.e. to know when there is not consensus), identifiable signs of paradigm shifts, and potentially others.


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Dennis Eriksson
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